Chicago Youth Program graduates give back to organization

CHICAGO (WLS) -- From birth through college, Chicago Youth Programs is an organization built on opportunities. The organization takes kids from some of the city's most impoverished neighborhoods and gives them a better chance at success.

There are two young men that have reached their dreams thanks to Chicago Youth Programs and now they are paying it forward.

"You know what I love Chicago, Chicago is my heart," Diamond McNulty said.

That's the reason McNulty regularly makes the trip home from Atlanta to give back to the city and the organization that helped him succeed.

"Chicago Youth Programs is like an angel investor and they are going to pour into you and they are going to give you the tools needed to succeed," McNulty said.

"So it's tutoring it's mentoring, its social recreational, its violence prevention, its health, its wellness everything they need to support them on their journey through education and through the first part of their lives," Cinaiva Stubbs, deputy executive director of the Chicago Youth Programs, said.

McNulty is a business owner, author and fulfilling his dream of being a chef.

"I started off as a mentee in the program and then I became a mentor and then instead of being in the Saturday program I started teaching cooking classes in the Saturday program," McNulty said.

Tommie Jones had a similar story. He has a career in marketing and volunteers with the Chicago Youth Program in his free time.

"This program helped me gain resources I probably would not have otherwise. Meaning like the tutoring sessions and meeting professional and building those relationships and carrying those throughout college," Jones said.

Now, Jones and McNulty want to see all the kids of this city make it to where they are now.

"It's real big to me to show you can still come back and still be involved or like hey I still care," Jones said.

"I want all the kids in Chicago to know that it's possible. It doesn't matter where you're born at. It doesn't matter how much money you have, none of that matters. All that matters is that you can start today in one of the poorest neighborhoods and you can become the wealthiest man in the world tomorrow and make a difference," McNulty said.

Chicago Youth Programs has a 98 percent high school graduation rate and of that 98 percent, 100 percent go to a college, university or trade program.
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